Don’t throw the baby out with the bathwater

Don’t throw the baby out with the bathwater

I can imagine how much it would amuse the devil if he succeeds in making an otherwise good and intelligent person “throw the baby out with the bathwater.”

Sometimes in the course of trying to do something good, we may unwittingly discard something of value and virtue.

For example, a business owner trying to cut costs and increase efficiency may decide to eliminate an old program that also provides crucial services to the community. A parent trying to help their child improve their grades may put so much pressure on academics that the child loses their passion for learning. Or a society fighting against inequality and injustice may, in its zeal, begin to cancel people for innocent mistakes.

Thus, we must be careful not to undermine the very principles we seek to uphold. Discernment, nuance, and moderation are needed to enact meaningful and sustainable change.

The devil surely revels when in trying to do right, we end up doing wrong. But if we stay grounded in wisdom and compassion, we can avoid his traps. With care and conscience, we can fix what is broken without breaking what still has value. We can cleanse without destroying, improve without compromising. There are always babies worth protecting, even in the dirtiest bathwater.

Matthew 13:24-43. He answered, ‘An enemy has done this.’ His slaves said to him, ‘Do you want us to go and pull them up?’ He replied, ‘No, if you pull up the weeds you might uproot the wheat along with them.


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